Another great and memorable weekend, thanks to the UFC.
My first event, as a fan. was Ultimate Fight Night 22 last September in Austin, Texas, and it was a blast. If you want to check out that FanPost click here. Well, needless to say, UFC 136 delivered one of the best pay-per-view cards this year as it was stacked with talent from top to bottom.
We arrived in Houston on Friday morning to attend the first day of the UFC Fan Expo. It's a little overwhelming, as I had no idea where to start. We first went to the Q&A with "veteran voice of the Octagon" Bruce Buffer to get the day started.
He's an interesting guy, who has had many businesses and manages his brother Michael Buffer. He doesn't plan on retiring from announcing anytime soon, but wont be doing the "Buffer 360" anytime soon either due to a bad knee.
Next up, we went to visit Miesha Tate.
She had a booth over at Gaspari nutrition and was signing with Sam Stout. Their lines were pretty short, so we took advantage of it. I asked "Hands of Stone" if he had any opponents scheduled and he had nothing in the works as of now. (I never know what to do with my hands in these pics.)
Our next stop was Jason "Mayhem" Miller's Q&A session, which of course was entertaining. All the fans were begging him to beat the shit out of Bisping. He was asked if he'd like to face Nick Diaz or a rematch with Shields and he wasn't interested in those fights.
He explained that at the time in Strikeforce those were like his only quality fights, whereas now in the UFC he has a whole new talent pool.
And here's the beautiful Arianny signing autographs for her fans, one of the longest lines in the building. And this was the end of day one for us. We were going to go to TapouT party but my idiot friend forgot dress shoes and the bouncer was a tool.
Alright, here is day two at the UFC Fan Expo and it began with a Q&A session featuring TUF fighters Forrest Griffin, Josh Koscheck, Matt Mitrione, Brendan Schaub, Stephan Bonnar, Cole Miller, Amir Sadollah and Rashad Evans.
Bonnar was asked what was the biggest surprise on season one and his answer was how much Leben could drink. "The Crippler" went through so many bottles and would put peppermint extract on the grocery list for "baking purposes."
Things then got a little heated when a fan asked who Koscheck wanted to fight next. Koscheck answered with Leben before Dave Farra stirred up the pot and asked what about Bonnar. (Koscheck was suing Bonnar for not getting permission to print his likeness on Bonnar's clothing brand). "Kos" said he would fight Bonnar at 185-pounds but "The American Psycho" offered 195, because he was afraid he'd die if he cut to 185.
For the rest of the day I just walked around the expo getting in short lines or taking pictures of fighters from behind their lines. Here are some of them.
Taking a pic with Kenda Perez.
And of course the number one UFC ring girl. Had to wait in line for this one, but fortunately I was the last one she took. There were still a good hundred+ people behind me. But I did get the name of the bar she was partying at that night.
Jon Jones getting bumrushed by fans at the Xyience booth.
Pat Barry and Punk Ass signing at the Tap out booth. Pat was nice enough to pose.
Bad Boy Girls.
Kenny Rice and I. Bas Rutten had already left for fights.
And finally I went to the fights around 5pm for the prelims and the first one was a hell of a fight between Mike Massenzio and Stave Cantwell. Also, I bought one of those event radios, so you can listen to commentary during fights -- well worth the $20.
At first they weren't working, but I tweeted @DanaWhite and @UFC about it and they tweeted back five minutes later that it was fixed. I've never done the twitter thing before but man is it handy when you go to UFC events. I would recommend it so you know where you can see you favorite fighters and even solve problems like the one above.
So most of the prelims were pretty exciting, a lot of us fans would take pictures with fighters between fights and they were more than happy to oblige.
Of course, I had to take one with the wife.
Here's Urijah and I.
Here's Rashad Evans, the true number one contender. He thinks the Machida vs Jones fight will be interesting.
The guest ring girl. meh
Demian Maia after his win over Santiago.
A disappointed Greg Jackson after Leonard Garcia lost.
Leonard after his fight of the night with Nam Pham.
Jose Aldo after his championship win.
On to the afterparties.
VIP with Arianny Celeste at Link Lounge, after the fights. Damn drunkard didn't know how to let the camera focus.
Here's another at Link Lounge.
About an hour before closing, I decided to to leave the wife and go to Chael Sonnen and Anthony Pettis's party at 5th Amendment. I walked in the door and this crazy hooker comes flying at me on some sort of flying sex swing.
So I couldn't find Pettis or Chael, so I was gonna call it a night before I ran into Jake Ellenberger.
On the way out, I ran into Tracy Lee from Combat Lifestyle, who we had drinks with in Austin at UFN 22. She spotted Sonnen walking up to bar so I followed, pretending to be part of her crew and got a pic with Chael. He actually seems like a really nice guy. Can't wait for the "Spider" rematch.
So that was my weekend, it was a blast and I would do it again any day.
I would definitely recommend floor seats just for the environment alone. I did have a good view as well. You'll be surrounded by celebs and fighters and it's quite the experience. Thanks for reading Maniacs.
Also, getting pics at the event and afterparties is way easier than at the fan expo. Just ask fighters where they are partying that night, or check twitter. Combatlifestyle.com also had a list of afterparties under the event tab.